Incense vs incense

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Incense and incense are two words that are spelled identically but are pronounced differently and have different meanings, which makes them heteronyms. We will examine the definitions of the words incense and incense, where these words came from, and a few examples of their use in sentences.

Incense (IN sense) is a material that comes in a cone, brick, stick, or other form that when lit produces a sweet fragrance. The word incense may refer to the material that is burned or the aroma produced by burning. Incense is commonly used in religious ceremonies, to enhance meditation, for aromatherapy, or simply to produce a pleasant atmosphere. Sometimes, incense may be used as an insect repellent. The word incense is derived from the Latin word, incensum, which means that which is burned. Occasionally, the word incense is used as a verb to mean to bathe in the smoke of incense; related words are incenses, incensed, incensing.

Incense (in SENSE) is a verb that means to enrage, to anger, to incite. Incense is derived from the Latin word, incensare, meaning to enrage or light on fire. Related words are incenses, incensed, incensing.


As soon as she gets home, the singer changes into her comfiest clothes, grabs a mason jar filled with water and lights candles and incense in her bathroom to set the mood. (People Magazine)

INCENSE sticks have become a burning issue at a Morningside block of flats, with a property management company sending a warning about the smoke causing a “nuisance”. (The Independent)

While the Legislature has had an adversarial attitude toward the initiative process since it was adopted in 1914, it has become incensed with petition sponsors adding language to the constitution which puts subjects outside the reach of the Legislature. (Minot Daily News)

Alejandro Figueroa had become incensed after one of the sons called 911 to say his father was drunk and handling guns, one of which had accidentally gone off, police said Saturday. (The Las Vegas Sun)